The Laurel Highlands is a breathtaking region in southwestern Pennsylvania, known for its rolling hills, scenic byways, and breathtaking vistas. The region is home to numerous state parks, each providing a special outdoor adventure. From hiking and camping to whitewater rafting and kayaking, the Laurel Highlands is a nature lover’s paradise.
One of the most stunning natural wonders in the Laurel Highlands is Ohiopyle State Park, where visitors can admire the beauty of the Youghiogheny River and its surrounding forests. In addition to outdoor recreation, the Laurel Highlands is home to a rich history and culture. The Fort Ligonier Museum showcases the history of the French and Indian War, while the Westmoreland County Historical Society offers a variety of tours and programs, including the Hannastown Historical Village and Bushy Run Battlefield.
Although, the Laurel Highlands is home to a growing number of wineries, offering tastings, and laurel highland events and tours. The Glades Pike Winery and the Wigle Whiskey Distillery are popular destinations for wine lovers, while the charming towns of Ligonier and Ohiopyle offer unique shopping and dining experiences.
Things To Do In The Laurel Highlands
The Laurel Highlands is a beautiful region that offers breathtaking landscapes, recreational activities, and historical landmarks. Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or a history buff, you’ll find plenty of things to do in the Laurel Highlands. In this blog, we’ll highlight 10 must-visit destinations in the area that will make your trip unforgettable.
Hiking And Camping
The Laurel Highlands is home to several state parks that offer scenic trails, peaceful camping grounds, and breathtaking views. Some of the most popular parks include Kooser State Park., Laurel Hill State Park, and Ohiopyle State Park. These parks offer trails for all skill levels, from easy walks along creeks to challenging hikes to the tops of mountains. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, the Laurel Highlands has you covered.
Laurel Highlands Waterfalls
In Laurel Highlands, among the most beautiful waterfalls can be found throughout the region. From the serene beauty of Ohiopyle Falls to the stunning cascades of Cucumber Falls, the area offers a variety of waterfall experiences for visitors. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike or an invigorating climb, the Laurel Highlands has a waterfall that is sure to take your breath away.
Whitewater Rafting And Kayaking
The Laurel Highland is a well-liked vacation spot for those who enjoy whitewater kayaking and rafting. The Youghiogheny River, which runs through the region, provides some of the best rapids in the east and is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the thrill of the water. Guided trips and rentals are available, so you can choose the level of adventure that’s right for you.
Skiing And Snowboarding
The Laurel Highlands is a winter wonderland, offering excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Seven Springs Mountain Resort is one of the top ski destinations in the region and offers slopes for all skill levels, as well as a variety of activities for non-skiers. The resort also has a large, modern ski village with a variety of dining and shopping options.
Explore The Fort Ligonier Museum
The Fort Ligonier Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The museum features an extensive collection of artifacts, including weapons, maps, and clothing, as well as interactive exhibits that allow visitors to step back in time and experience life during the 18th century.
Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
This iconic house is one of the most famous architectural masterpieces of the 20th century and is considered to be Wright’s most important work. The house was designed to blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings, and today, it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Laurel Highlands.
The Laurel Highlands is a golfer’s paradise, offering a variety of courses for golfers of all skill levels. From the challenging slopes of the Mystic Rock course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort to the rolling hills of the Stony Creek Golf Course, the Laurel Highlands has everything you need for a great day on the greens.
The Laurel Highland is home to a growing number of wineries, offering a variety of vintages and experiences. The Glades Pike Winery and the Wigle Whiskey Distillery are popular destinations, offering tastings, tours, and events. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or just looking to try something new, the Laurel Highlands is the perfect place to indulge your taste buds.
Drive At Great Allegheny Passage
The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150-mile trail that runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. This scenic route is perfect for cyclists, hikers, and those who enjoy scenic drives, and offers breathtaking views of the Laurel Highlands.
Shopping And Dining
The Laurel Highland is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, and restaurants, offering a unique shopping and dining experience. The historic town of Ligonier is a popular destination, offering a variety of antique and specialty shops, as well as a variety of dining options. The charming town of Ohiopyle is another great place to explore, with a variety of outdoor gear shops and restaurants that offer local cuisine and craft beers.
Laurel Highlands Resorts
Laurel Highland has a lot of resorts to offer. One of which is Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. It is a luxury resort that offers a wide range of activities and amenities, including golf, spa services, and fine dining. The resort is located on 2,000 acres of beautiful countryside and is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Places To Stay In Laurel Highlands, PA
The best places to stay in the Laurel Highlands will depend on your personal preferences and the activities you have planned. Here are a few options to consider:
Hotels: There are several hotels in the area, including chain hotels such as Best Western, Holiday Inn, and Quality Inn.
Bed and Breakfasts: For a more intimate and personal experience, you can consider staying at one of the many bed and breakfasts in the Laurel Highland.
Cabins and Cottages: If you prefer a more rustic experience, you can rent a cabin or cottage in the area. These rentals are often located near state parks or in secluded areas of the forest.
Camping: Camping is a popular option for outdoor enthusiasts in the Laurel Highlands, with several state parks and campgrounds in the area offering tent and RV camping.
Regardless of where you choose to stay, the Laurel Highlands offers scenic views, outdoor activities, and a rich cultural heritage to explore.
Way To Reach Laurel Highlands
The best way to reach Laurel Highland depends on your location and personal preferences. Some options include:
Driving: If you are located nearby, driving is often the most convenient option.
Flying: If you are coming from a farther distance, flying into a nearby airport, such as Pittsburgh International Airport, and then renting a car or taking ground transportation to the Laurel Highlands.
Public transportation: There are limited public transportation options to the Laurel Highland, but bus and train services may be available from major cities like Pittsburgh.
Ultimately, the best way to reach Laurel Highland will depend on your specific circumstances and priorities.
The Laurel Highland is a truly special place, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or outdoor adventurer, the Laurel Highlands is a must-visit destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression.